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Turkey

Smoking/roasting turkey, internal temperatures etc

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Smoking/roasting turkey, internal temperatures etc

Dylan Yolles | Aug 6, 2002 01:47 PM

I'm smoking a turkey for the first time this weekend. I thought I'd use the brine recipe someone posted recently here. I plan to brine the 16lb Turkey for about 18 hours, then slowly smoke it at about 225F. I've been told to expect a cooking time of about 1/2 hour per pound, or 8 hours.

If anyone has any thoughts on the above I'd be curious. But my specific question is this - what internal temperature optimizes the juiciness of the breast meat? Most of the recipes say "cook to 180F in the thigh and 170F in the breast" but these temperatures sound rather high to me - I fear that while they may optimize "safety" they don't optimize taste. As far as I've heard, all bacteria are destroyed at 160 or even possibly lower than that. So do any turkey experts have suggestions as to the RIGHT temperature, as opposed to the one the food nazis would have us use??

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